Chicago based Quasar Wut-Wut were the first band to sign onto Glorious Noise records, an offshoot of the popular internet community. Upon first encounter I was ready to write the band off—what a name. Add to that iffy CD packaging and song titles like “Enola Gay” and “Beaver Fever” and you may see why I would have binned the album. But I eventually got around to listening to Taro Sound and wouldn’t you know it, there’s actually some talent to be found here. Self described “Chicago’s #3 band” play lyrical indie pop—a tad vaudevillian, quirky, comical and country-ish. The band plays well off each other; many songs are replete with horns, extra strings and percussion all while tales of liquor, lust and relationships are sewn together. There’s nothing inherently wrong with the band, it’s just that—to be honest this is not my type of music.
Others may find a lot to love here. Songs like “Thankful Hank & the Guzzard” remind me of The Flaming Lips a little bit, with more of a country bar band jive. Fans of Americana or quirky indie pop will revel in the sounds of songs like “The Tramps of Taro Sound” and “Little Crimes.” The band has a little in common with The Decemberists too, if only that they both create songs where stories are told with melodic precision. There are also a few short interludes on the record; “The Carrion-Eaters’Lullaby” sounds like it could have been background music to a Tim Burton film. These songs are animated and carefully attended to, but a lot of the time I also felt Taro Sound to be a very uneven affair. Too many times I found my mind drifting off away from the music. But maybe it’s just me.